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[00:00:01]

So Kamala Harris just received an endorsement from a pretty unlikely place, and it says so much about her character and her integrity. Let's talk about that, because integrity, like justice matters. Hey, all, Glenn Kershner here, so I think it's fair to say our spirits have been lifted when we learned that Joe Biden selected his running mate, Senator Kamala Harris. I want to talk about one endorsement. I'm going to call it an endorsement, though. I don't know that technically it was intended to serve as an endorsement.

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But I want to talk about that in just a minute. But let's talk about her background. I'm sure you all know that Kamala Harris was born in Oakland, California. She traveled to Washington, D.C. That's my backyard, my old stomping grounds when I was prosecuting cases as a Fed and she attended Howard University. So Kamala Harris has her D.C. creds. She has her D.C. bona fides. And I don't mean her political cred. She has D.C. cred, because I can tell you, spending a quarter of a century in D.C., there is nothing that encapsulates all that is good about Washington, D.C., quite the way Howard University does.

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So Kamala Harris is a Howard University graduate.

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She then went back to California. She got her law degree and she began working as a prosecutor, as an assistant district attorney in California. Some years later, she ran to be the district attorney for the city of San Francisco.

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She won that election.

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And after serving a number of years as San Francisco's district attorney, I'm sure, you know, she went on to be the attorney general for the entire state of California, the second largest Department of Justice in the country. Frankly, it's the only Department of Justice that is operating as it should these days.

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After that, of course, she went on to be elected as a United States senator for the state of California.

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Now, let me tell you a little bit about being a prosecutor, because Kamala Harris was a prosecutor in California for years.

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I can tell you that being a prosecutor is hard. Trying cases is challenging. It's rewarding, but it's challenging.

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As a prosecutor, you're almost always upsetting somebody or angering somebody or doing something that displeases somebody. The reason I say that is every prosecutorial decision we are called upon to make. You know, if we decide to charge somebody, we may very well be upsetting the person who's being charged, the defendant, the defendant's family, friends, community.

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If we are declining to bring a charge because we don't think the evidence is there, we may very well be upsetting the victim of the crime or in a homicide case, the family of the victim or the victim's friends, the victim's community and society generally, because as prosecutors, we are duty bound to try to protect the community. And that is why we go about charging and sometimes incarcerating criminal offenders, because it's our job to protect the community.

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So we're almost always ticking somebody off with the decisions that we make. That can be especially true when we're in court, day in and day out trying cases against defense attorneys.

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Which brings me to this point. If you want to know something about a prosecutor's integrity and ethics and honor and trustworthiness, you can certainly ask the prosecutors, friends and colleagues. But frankly, friends are usually going to speak well about friends. But if you ask defense attorneys, defense attorneys against whom those prosecutors try cases or engage in difficult plea negotiations or otherwise bump heads with professionally, so to speak, us those defense attorneys about their opinion of the prosecutor's honor, integrity, character, trustworthiness, that is perhaps the truest test of how a prosecutor performs his or her job.

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And it is because of that that what I saw in the last twenty four hours or so spoke volumes to me.

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As a former career prosecutor.

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There is a public defender in San Francisco who's been a public defender for decades. Her name is Nicky Solis Solis. I hope I'm not mispronouncing Marsalis's name. And based on what I read about her and based on the statements that she's been making recently in the media, it seems like she had a difficult decision to make speak out and maybe anger some of her friends or colleagues or fellow defense attorneys or remain silent.

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And she decided that because she spent her life, she is still spending her career fighting for truth and for justice and for equality.

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She thought the right thing to do was to speak out. And here is what Nicky Solís said. I'm going to quote it at some length here, so bear with me.

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She said, There has been much talk about the times Senator Kamala Harris spent as a prosecutor, as a public defender for twenty four years. I examined, critiqued and battled Harris when she was the San Francisco district attorney.

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And more often than not, Harris and I were on opposite sides. Having had this experience, I feel compelled to speak on Harris's record while she was a district attorney. Simply put, Harris was the most progressive prosecutor in the state. This is not an anecdotal opinion. It is based on facts, Marsalis went on. And she mentioned that Kamala Harris took a, quote, reform minded approach to the work of the district attorney's office in San Francisco. She goes on to praise Kamala Harris, thoughtful, caring Forward-Looking policy decisions, and then she shares one example of that.

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She said that Kamala Harris championed a program called Back on Track that sent nonviolent offenders on a path to a new job and help them rebuild within their communities. Marsalis notes that Kamala Harris is back on track.

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Program exists to this day and has been a a pathway for many young adults to avoid the ravages of a felony conviction or incarceration. Marsalis then notes that there are going to be people who will criticize her, a career public defender, for standing up and speaking out in favor of a prosecutor or a district attorney. But she said, plain and simple, she's been fighting for justice and equality all her life. And she believed speaking out on behalf of Kamala Harris was the right thing to do.

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That, I'm going to be honest, gives me civic goosebumps when a defense attorney against whom a prosecutor is sometimes fighting tooth and nail, they are at they have diametrically opposed positions that they take.

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One is fighting for a conviction.

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One is fighting for an acquittal for a public defender with an informed opinion about how a particular prosecutor went about doing her job to weigh in, in favor of the honor and the integrity and the caring and the concern and the empathy and the reform minded approach to her work. Not just lock them all up and throw away the key, but let's help people. Let's reach out. Let's give them a second chance. That speaks volumes, and for me, that's one of the most important endorsements, again, I don't know that it was meant as an endorsement, but it's an endorsement of the person Kamala Harris is.

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It's an endorsement of her integrity and her character and her trustworthiness and her her concern for her fellow man and woman reaching across, whether it's across the aisle or across the courtroom to a defense attorney to work together where you can but engage in civil disagreements where you must you know, I'm sorry, it gives me civic goosebumps.

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The only other thing I want to mention and I will talk about this at length in the future, because Kamala Harris is now very likely, let's just call it the way it's going to be. She is the next vice president of the United States.

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And I want to talk about some of what she did on behalf of the American people when she examined witnesses like Bill Barr and Brett Kavanaugh and Jeff Sessions with precision and with a tactical reason for the questions she asked.

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And when we saw the answers that those questions produced, we're going to have to circle back to it this coming January and investigate those answers and hold those men accountable for the way they chose to testify under the withering examination of Senator Kamala Harris. Like I say, our spirits have been lifted. Our spirits have been lifted because we are again headed in the right direction with a ticket made up of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. Folks, as always, please stay safe.

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And I look forward to talking with you all again soon.